By Gary Stocks
For a few brief moments the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade team looked capable of causing an upset against ladder leader Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzacott Reserve.
But every time the Beach threatened to impact the game, CBC responded and eventually won comfortably – 16.14 (110) to 10.6 (66) with the margin blown out a little once the Beach realised it was a forlorn exercise.
While disappointed with the performance, coach David Hynes and his players took some valuable lessons away, particularly the efficiency of the opposition and most notably their work in the tight confines.
Around the stoppages, CBC were super clean, handled the pressure applied by the Beach with aplomb and then spread out of the congestion with good purpose. That meant they were able to move the ball slickly into their forward half and ensured the Beach defence was under the pump.
While there was no individual CBC player who got hold of the Beach inside their defensive 50 they had an even spread of goal-kickers and received strong contributions from a number of players.
North Beach lost the midfield battle, but Kody Enders, Steve Bandy and Peter Harvey all worked hard, while defensively Scott Ward and Ben Sweeny were exceptional and up forward Sascha Kernutt lurked dangerously and kicked three goals.
Club legend Mitch Holbrook also answered the SOS to return to A-Grade and provided a strong target up front. While he kicked just one goal, he took a few strong marks and also straightened up the team’s ball movement inside 50.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves, with a number of senior players unavailable, took on a youthful appearance and they were out-gunned by a mature opponent, going down by 12 goals.
Rather than being disheartened, though, the Beach chipped away at the challenge all day and there were some positive outcomes – including the return of Kyle Cranley and the form of Arran Goddard-Nash, who missed a big chunk of the season through injury.
Craig Hall, Shane Duckworth and Kade Golisano, who had played only one thirds match because of injury, were also prominent.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts produced perhaps their best performance of the season with an outstanding win – 10.5 (65) to 4.8 (32).
After a tight first half, the Beach powered away, kicking five goals to two after the main break to cement a place in the top two.
Ned Halley, Jayden Higgins, Tom DeCourtenay and Jarrad Chapman set a terrific example and that was matched by Mitch Cameron, who kicked five goals, Joel Brown, Nick Bowe and Mick Hoskins.
The Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade continued on their winning way, surviving a late surge from Fremantle CBC to claim the points at Percy Doyle Oval.
Again it was a neat blend of experience and youth who guided the Beach home with Scott Holbrook and Leon Spiccia providing direction and poise to youngsters like Sam Callow, Ryan Clapham and Ben Bubnich that was the catalyst for a 7.11 (53) to 7.3 (45) victory.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Grade gave the opposition too much start and fell an agonising three points short in an entertaining match.
The Beach allowed CBC to kick the first four goals before the ball had even entered their own half of the ground.
Without a suitable work rate or accountability, the Beach was in early strife, but they worked their back into the game and could easily have snatched victory.
Mike Bramley was exceptional in the ruck, Matt Allan was ubiquitous on the ball and Tim Maconachie was reliable at half back. Unfortunately, Jon Turner must now undergo shoulder surgery and his contribution will be sorely missed.
The Brett Jones Colts also paid the price for a slow start, but fought bravely despite being undermanned and looked capable of grabbing an unlikely victory in the early stages of the final term.
In the end CBC prevailed despite the best efforts of players like Olly Shaw, Jordan Mesiti and Richard Nguyen.
The Express Bins E2-Grade played a night match against CBC and were beaten 6.7 (43) to 15.8 (98).
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Fremantle CBC 4.3 6.9 12.10 16.14 110
North Beach 2.2 4.4 8.6 10.6 66
Goals – North Beach: Kernutt 3; Harvey 2; Alone, Cownie, Nelli, Sajich 1.
Best – North Beach: Enders, Ward, Sweeny, Harvey, Kernutt, Bandy.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
Fremantle CBC 2.7 6.9 11.13 15.16 106
North Beach 1.0 1.1 1.2 3.4 22
Goals – North Beach: Golisano, Harwood, McComiskie 1.
Best – North Beach: Hall, Goddard-Nash, Duckworth, Golisano.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.0 5.0 7.3 10.5 65
Fremantle CBC 2.2 2.6 4.7 4.8 32
Goals – North Beach: Cameron 4; Higgins 2; Adler, Ekert, Harberg, Rudrum 1.
Best – North Beach: Halley, Higgins, DeCourtenay, Chapman, Cameron, Brown, Bowe, Rudrum, Hoskins.
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 3.3 4.6 6.9 7.11 53
Fremantle CBC 2.0 4.2 4.3 7.3 45
Goals – North Beach: Christie, Clapham, Bowdell 2; Callow 1.
Best – North Beach: Bubnich, Callow, S Holbrook, Clapham, Spiccia.
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
Fremantle CBC 5.1 7.4 10.7 11.8 74
North Beach 2.2 5.6 7.9 10.11 71
Goals – North Beach: Barry, Bramley, Kickett 2; B Boys, Piggott, Tincknell, Turner 1.
Best – North Beach: Bramley, Allan, Maconachie.
Brett Jones Colts
Fremantle CBC 2.4 5.8 6.13 9.13 67
North Beach 0.0 1.0 4.5 7.10 52
Goals – North Beach: Evans, Premici 2; Batty, James, Mesiti 1.
Best – North Beach: Shaw, Mesiti, Nguyen.
Express Bins E2-Grade
Fremantle CBC 15.8 (98) b North Beach 6.7 (43)